Caught in the middle

Shrinking roads

Caught in the middle

The traffic chaos in the City seems to be worsening with work on roads, under the Tender SURE projects, taking longer than the stipulated period of time.

Clearly, it has become an added misery on the roads for the citizens Seven roads in the City have been taken up under this project, which include St Mark's Road, Museum Road, Richmond Road, Commissariat Road and Vittal Mallya Road.

The idea of Tender SURE roads is to give space to the pedestrians and inspire people to use public transport.

The work on St Mark's Road, Cunningham Road and Vittal Mallya Road are underway but motorists complain that they end up spending a considerable amount of time on these roads.

Anjana DS, a HR training consultant, wonders why the pedestrian paths under the Tender SURE project has been widened beyond the required limit.

“It makes no sense to widen the footpaths and leave very little space for  motorists. How can officials expect people to leave their vehicles and start walking? There isn’t enough parking space in the Central Business District for people to park their vehicles and walk,” reasons Anjana.

Usha Rajendran, a software consultant who works on Cunningham Road, says she would rather choose to work from home than drive down to her workplace on a daily basis.

“The government must have seen this as a project to change the look of the City but beautification must be done well within limits. I spend at least two hours in the morning and almost three hours in the evening stuck in traffic, thanks to never-ending work on these roads,” she says.

Those who travel long distances say that they have a hard time negotiating the dug-up stretches and taking diversions, which have now become the rule rather than an exception.

Meghana Kumar, a student of Mount Carmel College, says that she sees ambulances too getting stuck on Cunningham Road.

“On a regular basis, we see ambulances caught in the middle of traffic on these roads. There is no way out of it and it is unfortunate,” she reasons.   
    
Expressing his view on the progress of Tender SURE roads, Vivek Menon, head of infrastructure subcommittee at CiSTUP, IISc observes that while Tender SURE was meant to rightfully restore the much marginalised pedestrian's rights on the road, the design on several key arterials has been compromised and erroneously skewed against the motorist leading to traffic snarls which will continue even after the road is completed.

“With the lack of a robust mass transit system and last mile connectivity, it is nothing short of blasphemy to force the motorist out of his choice into a non existent mass transit system,” he says.

“Context sensitive design, which was the cornerstone of the Tender SURE specifications has been lost and sidewalks have been widened beyond the stipulated width along key arterials within the CBD area including St Marks Road and
Cunningham Road,” adds Vivek.

He sums up saying that Tender SURE must establish a clear balance between
pedestrianisation and the motor-vehicles user, including buses, giving both an equal right to ‘Right of Way’ and ensure a smooth commute for both.

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